6 Steps for Hotel Flood Prevention

A flood can have devastating consequences for a hotel. Besides the substantial repair costs, there’s also the lost revenues resulting from uninhabitable rooms.

Implementing a proactive approach is the best way to prepare for a flood and mitigate the damage. Use the following flood prevention tips to guide you in forming a plan:

1. Know Your Flood Zone and Base Flood Elevation (BFE)

BFE is the level where a building has a 1% chance of flooding each year. Ideally, your hotel should be at least 3 feet above the BFE in your area — just in case the floodwaters rise higher than anticipated. To determine the BFE for your hotel, consult a flood map or contact your municipality’s building department.

2. Utilize Dry Floodproofing Techniques

Dry floodproofing entails making a structure watertight below the level that requires flood protection. Specific dry floodproofing techniques include measures to:

  • Maintain a supply of flood-protecting materials to divert waters from the building.
  • Install watertight shields over windows and doors at least 3 feet above BFE.
  • Set up interconnected water-filled barriers to temporarily protect large areas and openings.
  • Install submarine doors, flood doors or portable flood gates where possible.

You may also consider surrounding the hotel with permanent flood walls.

3. Raise HVAC and Electrical Components

It’s wise to relocate heating, ventilation and air conditioning units to a higher floor to limit exposure to floodwater. Consider building a floodproof wall around the equipment or even performing a rooftop installation if feasible. To minimize the risk of damage to electrical equipment, hire a licensed electrician to raise components such as circuit breakers, sockets and switches at least 12 inches above BFE.

4. Landscape With Native Plants

Surround your hotel with plants, vegetation and foliage. Besides enhancing the property’s appearance, the flora will enable floodwaters to drain more quickly and efficiently. Plants can also help to prevent the soil erosion that flooding often causes.

5. Seal Cracks and Gaps

Use urethane-based caulk to fill cracks around windows, utility pipe penetrations and other gaps in the foundation and exterior where rising floodwaters could enter your building. This step will also make your hotel more energy-efficient and increase your guests’ comfort. Apply a waterproof coating to enhance the building’s structural integrity and prevent the mold and mildew that frequently occur after a flood.

6. Protect Your Hotel With Insurance

Your commercial insurance policy will likely cover water damage caused by burst pipes or leaky plumbing fixtures — but not flood-related damage. A hotel should also carry a separate flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program, which is available through private insurance agents and brokers, can provide up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and the same amount for its contents.

Contact Unlimited Restoration for More Flood Prevention and Safety Tips

At Unlimited Restoration, we understand what it takes to prepare for floods and other catastrophic events. We’ll work with you to set up a comprehensive flood prevention plan for your business. We also provide complete restoration and recovery services when disaster strikes.

Contact us to learn more about what you can use to prevent flooding at your hotel.


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